I skipped the opportunity of the Turkey Trot and instead ran at the Garden of the Gods. I thought, foolishly, that that would be significantly easier. I have been to the park in the Springs on a few occasions. Driven through it and knew that it was immensely beautiful.
Somehow I had managed to overlook the hill factor. We began our run by choosing to tackle a hill, immediately, on the run. I laughed it off. I tried to tell the Barefoot Runner that it would be easier on the way back. Yet, it was incline, after hill, after more hill. We stopped midway through the run to climb the rocks. And, take a break. Our run was Grady's first run after his marathon. He was feeling a little off and I didn't want to overwhelm him. We climbed the rocks and I looked around the park. Beautiful.
We continued and considered how far we wanted to go. We could do a loop which extended the run or continue to the bottom of the hill, turnaround, and reclimb the incline. I liked that option. The loop back around the park represented unseen hills and I was unwilling to go that route. I told him we should do the hill and back to the car.
That hill reminded me of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. It was insane and never ending or so it seemed. We talked the way up. He talked me through it and I was grimacing because of how stupid I had been to suggest this way instead of extending the mileage. We made it to the top and he said--that is the last hill.
But it wasn't. It was one of many hills that we would encounter on the way back to the car. I kept thinking--it didn't seem like that much downhill. And, then I thought about driving through the park and didn't remember that many hills. I guess the lesson, here for me, is to research the area that I will be running. Be familiar with the course so that I am not freaking out about the amount of hills that are present.
Yesterday, my last long Saturday run, I ran with the Goddess and the Barefoot Runner. Flat course, familiar and awesome. Plus, I enjoyed the conversation that occurred from combining running partners.
We met at my house and ran Wash Park. I told them that we could run Wash Park and finish at Cheesman. I felt great through the first park and on the way back to Capitol Hill, slowed down some, and they followed my lead. I knew Lindsay would be happy with cutting the mileage short. She was and we did.
I am nervous/excited/scared/happy about next weekend. I cannot believe that it is already here. I am ready, though. I am.....